Past Directors


Dr. Nassif Ghoussoub - PIMS Director (1996 - 2003)

Dr. Nassif Ghoussoub is the founding director of the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS). Under his leadership, PIMS was created in 1996, and the institute rapidly evolved into a unique bi-national scientific partnership involving all major universities of Alberta, BC and Washington State. During his directorship (1996-2003) PIMS became recognized world-wide as an effective new model for the mathematical sciences: one that addresses simultaneously the imperatives of research, education and technology transfer, and one that was able to unite a diverse community of many institutions over a geographically challenging area.

Dr. Ghoussoub's service to the world's mathematical community has been nothing short of extraordinary. In 1999, he founded --in collaboration with Don Dawson (Director of the Fields institute, Toronto), Luc Vinet (Director of the CRM, Montreal), and Steve Halperin (U. of Toronto)-- the MITACS Network of Centres of Excellence (Mathematics of Information Technology & Complex Systems). He is currently a member of the MITACS' Board of Directors. In 2001, he founded --in collaboration with David Eisenbud (UC Berkeley), and Robert V. Moody (U. Alberta)-- the Banff International Research Station (BIRS), and he has been the scientific director of the station since 2004.

Dr. Ghoussoub received an undergraduate degree from the Lebanese University of Beirut in 1973 and a doctorat d'état from Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris in 1979. His present research interests are in non-linear analysis and partial differential equations. He is currently a Professor of Mathematics, a Distinguished University Scholar, and an elected member of the Board of Governors of the University of British Columbia for the period 2008-2011.

His academic distinctions include the Coxeter-James Prize (1990), a UBC Killam Senior Research Fellowship (1992), the Jeffrey-Williams Prize (2007), and the UBC Faculty of Science Achievement Award for outstanding service and leadership (2007). He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1993, and was awarded in 2004 a Doctorat Honoris Causa from the Université Paris-Dauphine.

He was chair of NSERC's grant selection committee for mathematics in 1995-1996, and is currently serving on the Killam committee of the Canada Council for the Arts (2007-2010). He was vice-president of the Canadian Mathematical Society from 1994 to 1996, the editor-in-chief of the Canadian Journal of Mathematics from 1993 to 2002, the founding editor-in chief of the "Pi in the Sky" magazine, and is currently on the editorial board of various international journals.


Dr. Ivar Ekeland - PIMS Director (2003 - 2008)

Ivar Ekeland is the Canada Research Chair in Mathematical Economics at the University of British Columbia. He is a former President of Université Paris-Dauphine, and a former Director of the research centres CEREMADE and Institute Finance-Dauphine. He has received prizes from the French Academy of Sciences, the French Mathematical Society, and the Belgian Academy of Sciences. He is a foreign member of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and he holds honorary doctorates from UBC and from the University of Saint Petersburg for Economics and Finance. Dr. Ekeland is the founding editor of the "Annales de l'Institut Henri Poincaré-Analyse Nonlineaire" and he sits on the editorial board of many other publications. He has also written several books which are reflections on, or popularization of, mathematics. For these contributions, Dr. Ekeland was awarded the "Prix Jean Rostand" by the Association des Ecrivains Scientifiques de France and the "Prix d'Alembert" by the Société Mathématique de France. He is also a regular contributor to the journal "Nature" as well as to the magazine "Pour la Science". He is the author of over ten books, the two latest being "Cat in Numberland" (Cricket Books, 2006) and "The Best of All Possible Worlds" (Chicago University Press, 2006)